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Photographer's Note

I took my girls down to take a peek at the Bonneville Dam Fish Ladders as we've had a story on the news recently about the Sea Lions who were swiming into the fish ladders.

Growing numbers of sea lions have figured out over time that if you just wait at the narrow entrance to the ladders, the fish will come to you.
About 100 have made the 140-mile trip from the Pacific Ocean to the dam in each of the past couple of years.

But working the ladder itself is new, and could cause problems. The sea lion's presence and its smell could scare fish away from their passageway to spawning grounds. Curt Melcher, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said that he has seen salmon avoid a fishway for hours after human hands have left a scent in the water.

Hazing or trapping would require special approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service because Congress protected the animals in 1972. Since then California sea lions have rebounded from a population of fewer than 1,500 to at least 200,000 on the West Coast.

Photo: Levels, Resized, framed

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Additional Photos by Lori Cannon (LCannon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 395 W: 147 N: 580] (2798)
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